War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0352 OPERATIONS IN N. VA. W. VA., MD. AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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and third New York, supporting batteries: also to picket the railroad as far as the creek, which, as soon s sufficiently dark, I proceeded to do, occupying the block-house on the south side of the creek.

The next morning, observing that we were exposed to the fire of skirmishers or sharpshooters, advancing on our left, I reported the fact, and the Eighth Connecticut Volunteers was immediately sent to extend and strengthen the line. At 8 p.m. I was relieved by the Thirteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, and soon after recrossed the river with the brigade, arriving in camp about 11 p.m.*

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

Lieutenant H. P. GATES,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.

Numbers 142. Report of Colonel Arthur H. Dutton, Twenty-first Connecticut Infantry.


December 17, 1862.

SIR: The following is a report of the operations of this regiment during the late series of actions with the enemy:

On Friday, the 12th instant, the regiment marched with the brigade from its present camp to the lower bridge, opposite the city of Fredericksburg, where it halted during a greater part of the day, awaiting orders. Late in the afternoon, anticipating loss from the fact that the enemy was shelling our position, I commenced withdrawing the regiment to a place of safety. At sunset the entire brigade entered the city, where my regiment bivouacked in a principal street, facing the enemy, our extreme right resting on the railroad.

I will here state that this regiment took the right of the brigade constantly throughout the various movements here described.

Saturday morning, the 13th instant, our division being drawn up in reserve, the Twenty-first Connecticut was in position, covering the bridge by which we crossed. This position was retained a number of hours, during which random shot and shell from the enemy fell among us, wounding one or two. We were also exposed to danger from imperfectly constructed projectiles fired from our own batteries across the river, whereby 1 man was mortally wounded.

At about 4.30 p.m. I was ordered to move my regiment to the front instantly. Disconnected from the brigade, we marched by the right flank through the city, and formed line of battle in an outer street. Thence, after a brief halt, we moved to the front, over irregular ground, obstructed by fences, out-buildings, and hedges, forming once more directly in front of the enemy's central works.

We were here placed for nearly an hour in that most galling of all positions-exposed to a destructive fire without opportunity of retaliating. Nevertheless the men, and especially the officers, behaved throughout with most commendable coolness, bravery, and enthusiasm. Firing having ceased along the lines, we slept on the ground without changing position.


*Casualties, omitted, show 1 enlisted man wounded and 1 missing.